Tis the season for eating all things mango...and that includes mango salads! The combination of flavours and textures in this salad is unexpectedly delicious - the nutty wild rice against the sweetness of the mango, some crunch from the toasted cashews, the beautiful leafy tuscan kale, fresh herbs and a lovely simple citrus dressing to bring it all together. If kale is not your thing I have also made this salad with rocket and it's equally delicious. You could prepare the rice, the dressing and the toasted cashews a day in advance then all you have to do on the day is prepare the kale, chop the mango, red onion and throw it all together and add the dressing. Perfect for entertaining a large crowd.. hello Christmas lunch !
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
1 bunch of tuscan kale (if you can't get your hands on the tuscan variety, use regular curly kale)**
½ large red onion, finely sliced
2 large mangoes, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
¾ cup cashews, toasted
Handful of mint leaves
Handful of coriander leaves
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
For the dressing:
⅓ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp maple syrup, honey or rice malt syrup
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
** You can also substitute the kale for 4 cups of rocket if you prefer
Place the rice into a medium saucepan with 3 cups of water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes, until the rice is tender but still has some bite to it, and the rice kernels start to split open.
To prepare the kale, remove the leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Tear the kale leaves up into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a small squeeze of lemon juice and then massage the kale with your hands for a minute or two. This will help soften the kale and remove its bitterness.
To make the dressing, simply whisk all ingredients together well in a bowl or shake together in a jar. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
To assemble the salad start with the wild rice on the bottom of your serving platter or bowl, then add the kale and sliced onion. Top with the mango, cashews, finely chopped chilli (if using) and herbs. Add the dressing and toss gently to combine. Enjoy!